First published at: http://swarajyamag.com, on December 7, 2015: http://swarajyamag.com/politics/left-libs-didnt-protest-much-when-rajiv-gandhi-wanted-to-make-singing-the-national-anthem-compulsory/
There are not many countries in the world that allow their national anthem to become a tool for divisive politics. But in India any and every issue gets to be used for partisan political agendas. Our national anthem has been no exception.
The latest controversy over the national anthem erupted on 29 November, 2015, when five members of a family were asked to leave a cinema hall in Mumbai because they rudely rebuffed fellow cine viewers who asked them to stand up as the national anthem was being played before the start of the movie.
A video clip of the event went viral on social media and consequently provoked heated debate in mainstream media, including prime time television, because the concerned family happened to be Muslim. Had the same incident involved a Hindu family, it is not likely to have excited such passion on either side of the political divide.